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Gov. Bryan Presents ‘Courageous Citizen Award’ To Teen Who Rescued Drowning Friend

FREDERIKSTED — Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. presented St. Croix teen Saeed Phillips with the Courageous Citizen Award for rescuing his friend from drowning after jumping off the Frederiksted Pier last month.

Governor Bryan presented the award to Phillips on Tuesday during an assembly in the auditorium of the St. Croix Educational Complex High School attended by Phillips’ family, teachers, mentors, and the school’s junior class, of which Phillips is a member.

“Today we are here to celebrate a special hero,” Bryan said. “Saeed stands as a shining example for his peers, and we want to ensure that we recognize him for his actions. I am proud of his courage and his heroics, and I am honored to present him with the first-ever Courageous Citizen Award.”

AT&T Representative Alexandria Veridailes, Regional Vice President for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands presented Phillips with an iPhone and AirPods at Tuesday’s presentation to replace the items he had lost when jumping off the pier to save his friend.

Phillips received the AirPods as a birthday present the day he jumped off the Anne Abramson Pier to assist his friend and had his phone and his new AirPods on his person when he jumped in the ocean. 

Governor Bryan also announced a paid summer internship for Phillips, who is an aspiring Marine Biologist, with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) and announced that he would also name an upcoming swimming program designed to teach young Virgin Islanders to swim in honor of Phillips.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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